Celebrating National Hobby Month
Enjoying an active and engaged life, one that provides you with opportunities to grow and learn, is important for all of us. But it’s especially crucial as we grow older. Engaging in positive activity on a regular basis promotes brain health. It also helps to prevent or delay the onset of medical issues linked with isolation and loneliness, such as depression, diabetes, heart disease, and more.
Many seniors say the wide variety of events and activities available to residents is one of the leading reasons they chose to make a move to a senior living community. While these activities might seem more like a luxury than a necessity, they really aren’t.
In honor of January's upcoming National Hobby Month, we’re taking a look at the benefits of connecting with old hobbies or trying new ones during retirement. And offering a few ideas on new interests you might consider exploring.
The Importance of Living an Engaged Life
There is an increasing amount of evidence that shows how engaging in activities that enrich your mind, body, and spirit promotes healthy aging. Here are a few benefits researchers say seniors reap when they stay busy with productive hobbies and interests:
- Promotes cognitive wellness: A study published in 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that adults who stay socially engaged during retirement keep brain cells stimulated. This engagement helps guard against dementia, a condition for which the risk increases with age.
- Prevents isolation-related risks: While it might be easy to understand how isolated seniors experience higher incidences of depression, there are other health issues that isolation is linked with as well. They range from obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes to early mortality.
- Decreases sedentary lifestyle dangers: While most of us have heard our primary care physician say that physical fitness activities are an important part of a healthy lifestyle, fewer have likely discussed the dangers associated with sitting too much. But many experts say a sedentary lifestyle might be just as dangerous as smoking. Hobbies that keep seniors moving are vital.
If you are looking for a few new pastimes to try, we have some suggestions you might find interesting.
Senior-Friendly Hobbies to Explore
- Try a musical instrument: Have you always thought it looked like fun to play the guitar or maybe even the drums? The Internet has made it easier than ever to try new things. You can purchase a secondhand instrument from a local music store or maybe off Facebook Marketplace. If you don’t want to spend money on classes, try searching YouTube for online music lessons.
- Tackle a new language: This is another activity that challenges the mind and promotes cognitive health. It can also be a good way to meet new people. Many local community colleges and continuing education programs offer foreign language classes at discounted rates for seniors. Another option could be to download a language app to your iPad or other device. Babbel and Duolingo are two popular choices.
- Volunteer for a cause: One meaningful way to stay connected is by volunteering your time and talent to a nonprofit. You’ll likely find many organizations in your local area in need of a helping hand. If you don’t already have a charitable cause you feel a strong commitment to, there are several ways you can find one. Your local United Way can be a resource. They often maintain a list of agencies seeking volunteers for various projects. Another option is to take advantage of an online database, such as Volunteer Match. It allows you to search for opportunities by zip code and type of agency (i.e., human services, animal rescue, etc.).
- Connect with nature: From walking the trails in your local parks to bird watching and exploring the constellation, there’s something very peaceful that happens when you spend time in nature. Gardening is another hobby to consider. If your outdoor space is limited, container gardening might be a solution.
Resident-Initiated Activities and Programs
At PSL communities, residents play a key role in determining what activities are offered each day. It’s a philosophy known as Thrive Wellness. The best way to learn more is to call a PSL community near you and schedule a personal visit! A member of our team will be happy to explain how the PSL commitment to wellness fosters a sense of belonging and engagement.
About Presbyterian Senior Living
PSL is a mission-driven organization that lives our values of integrity, mutual respect, creative curiosity, and connectedness. Building on a legacy of 96 years, we provide residential and care services to more than 6,000 seniors in 27 locations across the mid-Atlantic region of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Delaware.
- Connect with Presbyterian Senior Living